Evaluate action research for application within the education profession.

Week 2 Journal Reflecting

This journal assesses your ability to apply collaboration and cooperation as it relates to action research proposals. This assessment also supports your achievement of Course Learning Outcome 5.

Instructions Using support from your assigned reading, the Instructor Guidance, and the discussions, submit the following for evaluation. Use the following guidelines for creating your written assignment. If you have questions about the assignment or the rubric, please contact your Instructor using the Ask Your Instructor discussion before the due date.

In your paper, Choose one topic (8 points) from below and reflect on the value of action research within the education profession. Be sure to support your reflection with information from the article, Developing inclusive practices through collaborative action research, and your textbook.

· Improve pre and in-service training, mentorship, and team building.

· Promote the use of new and alternative methods for teaching.

· Encourage teachers to organize their work in teams and to apply problem-oriented teaching methods.

The Journal Assignment

· Must be two to three double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.).

· Must include a separate title page with the following:

· Title of Journal: Action Research

· Student’s name

· Course name and number

· Instructor’s name

· Date submitted

· Must use at least three scholarly sources in addition to the course text.

· The Scholarly, Peer Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.

· Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

· Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

Next Steps: Review and submit the assignment

· Review your assignment with the Grading Rubric to ensure you have achieved the distinguished levels of performance for each criterion. Next, submit your document no later than Day 7.

Recommendation: The MAED and MASE programs provide the opportunity for you to create an online portfolio that can be used in your career development and professional practice. Throughout your respective program you will have various assessments that can be included in this e-portfolio, and these will be finalized in the final capstone course, Capstone 2: Culminating Project, EDU696. You may select this assignment and subsequent coursework to include as work samples.  Therefore, it is strongly encouraged you save your coursework on a flash-drive (e.g., a USB removable drive) or store in a cloud-based option such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or other similar applications.

Success Tip: Be mindful of the Week Six Final Project. The Week Six project involves reflecting on an action research proposal. Preparation for this assignment must begin early to make certain you are planning ahead and saving your work. Review the full instructions for the week six assignment for specific information.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your journal assignment.

Your Inner Sleuth

Learning Outcomes

This week students will:

1. Analyze the goals, origins, rationale, and value of the educational research profession.

2. Evaluate action research for application within the education profession.

Introduction

Welcome to the second week of EDU694. This week you will be further identifying the topic for your peer-reviewed action research proposal due in Week Six. It is suggested that the resources shared in this week be saved in your “link library” to be used for reference later in the class, future course work, and professional practice.

In preparation for this week’s activities, review the course textbook and the weekly assignments so that you have a global understanding of the expectations and pacing.

Please be sure to take about an hour to review this week’s Instructor Guidance. There you will find a wealth of useful information that will supplement your understanding as you progress through the week’s discussions and assignments. This document can also be used as a scholarly reference in this week’s assignments. If additional guidance is needed, please access the Ask Your Instructor section of your course.

It is important to note that the Instructor Guidance has been developed to directly compliment the learning outcomes in each week of this course. As in any course, the Instructor Guidance supports the required texts and other readings but does not replace it. For your continued success in this program, it is highly recommended that you are prepared for each week’s instruction by accessing all of the available resources.

WEEK TWO INSTRUCTOR GUIDANCE

Welcome to Week Two of EDU 694:Capstone 1: Educational Research.  Please be sure to review the Week Two homepage for this course to see:

· The specific learning outcomes for the week

· The schedule overview

· The required and recommended resources

· The introduction to the week

· A listing of the assessments

Next, be sure to read this entire Instructor Guidance page.

Overview

Recall that in Week One you discussed the overarching understanding of Action Research in relationship to the education profession. Week Two is designed to ensure expansion upon your early understandings of Action Research As part of the Week One Discussion One, you were encouraged to review the weekly homepages for the course and take note of the assessments each week. Now is an appropriate time to revisit the Week Six Final Project instructions and Grading Rubric to be sure you understand the scope of what you will do in that assessment and how your participation in Week Two supports your success.

Intellectual Elaboration

Why Bother with Research?

It would be so much easier, in our post-modern world, to self-appoint ourselves as experts based on our experiences, our intuitions, our “gut feelings.” After all, who knows better than we do about the things we have experienced, thought, and felt? Further, and more to the point, there are many people who would be just fine with this. The presence of the internet, as it is with many things, is in part is responsible for this. (Visit this website for a lengthy explanation of post-modernism (Links to an external site.). Go to this website for a much shorter explanation of post-modernism (Links to an external site.)).  In the post-modern world, everyone can be their own “expert.”  Long held notions of expertise and scholarship have been called into question, and thus must be defended. Research relies on following a well-worn path, developed over several centuries by scholars, scientists, and others, to find answers to questions.  In essence, the researcher seeks, through following this path, to satisfy curiosity, to advance thinking, to devise and invent solutions, and to make the world better.  Research, then, is vital to human progress, and is equally vital in advancing professional practice in education. Of course, there are many aspects to research, for our purposes in this class, we will focus more on Action Research, a type of research that educators can use well for their professional purposes.

Action Research.

Action Research is a key type of research aimed specifically at what I call “street level practitioners.” O’Brien (1998, paragraphs 23 and 24) notes that Kurt Lewin is generally considered the ‘father’ of Action Research. A German social and experimental psychologist, and one of the founders of the Gestalt school, he was concerned with social problems, and focused on participative group processes for addressing conflict, crises, and change, generally within organizations. Initially, he was associated with the Center for Group Dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, but soon went on to establish his own National Training Laboratories. Lewin first coined the term ‘Action Research’ in his 1946 paper “Action Research and Minority Problems”, characterizing Action Research as “a comparative research on the conditions and effects of various forms of social action and research leading to social action”, using a process of “a spiral of steps, each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action, and fact-finding about the result of the action.” Action Research, when considered from an education viewpoint, is tied with the work of John Dewey (Links to an external site.), as noted in the Week One Instructor Guidance, whose experiential view of education was suited to both students and teachers. As such, it is very versatile. Teachers, while conducting Action Research, seek to find solutions to practical classroom problems. Some examples of Action Research can be found in all curricular subjects, student management issues, improvements of teaching technique(s), etc.  Action Research can also be conducted by individuals, teams of teachers, or entire schools.  In sum, Action Research works well for educators.

Closing Remarks

Understanding the conduct, potential value, and professional necessity of research in general, and Action Research in particular, arms you with the necessary tools to not only conduct your own research, but to enhance our profession. By offering a substantial alternative to post-modern modes of thinking as applied to education, you can proceed with your professional practice with renewed confidence.

Assessment Guidance

This section includes additional specific assistance for excelling in the discussions for Week Two beyond what is given with the instructions for the discussions. If you have questions about what is expected on any discussion for Week Two, contact your instructor using the Ask Your Instructor discussion before the due date.

Discussion 1: Action Research Selection

For this discussion, you will be choosing the Action Research proposal in which you will review during this course and for your final assignment.  It is important that you choose a proposal that is in keeping with your topic you chose during Week One Discussion Two. As well, that the proposal you choose is also one that you identified as a peer-reviewed sources from Week One Assignment One.

Journal: Reflection

This journal assesses your ability to apply collaboration and cooperation as it relates to Action Research proposals. You will be reflecting on the value of Action Research within the education profession.   Be sure to support your reflection with information from the Lloyd (2002) article provided in the course and your textbook. It is important with this journal assignment to really reflect on how Action Research can have an impact on and within the education profession.

 

References

Aylesworth, G. (2005, September 30). Postmodernism (Links to an external site.)Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2013/entries/postmodernism/ Encyclopedia Britannica. (n.d.). John Dewey (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/160445/John-Dewey O’Brien, R. (1998). An overview of the methodological approach of Action Research (Links to an external site.)University of Toronto. Retrieved from http://www.web.ca/robrien/papers/arfinal.html PBS. (n.d.). Postmodernism (Links to an external site.). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/postm-body.html

Required Resources

Text

Mertler, C. A. (2017). Action research: Improving schools and empowering educators (5th ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

· Chapter 3: Planning for Action Research and Reviewing Related Literature

Article

Argyropoulos, V., Nikolaraizi, M. (2009). Developing inclusive practices through collaborative action researchEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education 24(2):139-153. DOI: 10.1080/08856250902793586

· This paper discusses the results of an action research proposal which aimed to promote academic access in two general educational settings. The study focuses on a pupil with blindness and a deaf pupil were educated respectively. This resource will be used to support your work on the discussion this week (i.e., Action Research Selection) and this week’s assignment (i.e. Reflection).

Recommended Resources

Web Page

What is action research? (Links to an external site.) (n.d.). Retrieved from http://gse.gmu.edu/research/tr/tr-action

· This is an action research resource developed for the students at George Mason University. This resource will be used to support your work on the discussion this week (i.e., Action Research Selection) and this week’s assignment (i.e. Reflection).

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